Brain scans

Brain scans are getting better every day. One day, I am pretty sure, we will have inexpensive brain scanning devices that can be purchased by consumers and used at home. When that day comes, we will need a new way of talking with one another, a new way to assess how we understand each other.

Imagine two people hooked up to a brain scan device that gives very accurate readings of what is happening in their brains while they interact. Imagine also that all instances of embarrassment, lying, flattery, fear, not understanding while pretending you do, and so on show up on the brain scan device. How will people deal with that?

I think FIML will help. It surely won’t do everything, but basic FIML training will probably help people deal with the many areas of our minds that we are now used to hiding but will no longer be able to when connected to brain scanning tech.

Here is an interesting study based on data from brain scans: Extraversion Is Linked to Volume of the Orbitofrontal Cortex and Amygdala. This article says some interesting things about neuroticism versus extroversion. Basically, extroversion is not the opposite of neuroticism, but a “protective factor” that seems to guard against it. This does not make extroverts more right about things; it just makes them socially more effective in most circumstances and less liable to doubt themselves.

But FIML practice (or a lot of good introspection) shows us that being effective socially and having fewer doubts may actually indicate a “positive neurosis” in that the extrovert’s understanding of themseleves and others is based on mistaken interpretations. The mistakes may work well enough in many situations, but they are still mistakes.

My guess is that brain scan tech of the future will show these mistakes. My guess is also that society will be far richer for that. Ideally, consumer brain scan devices will allow much greater truthful lateral communication; a much greater sharing of interpersonal realities as opposed to the widespread conformance to public semiotics that is the rule now.

Of course, I am very mindful that brain scan tech could be used for horrific social control. The best way to avoid that is have a lot of people understand the technology and put it in the hands of consumers as soon as possible.

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